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Ibeyi in 2018
Ibeyi in 2018
Background information
Born (1994-12-13) December 13, 1994 (age 27)
OriginParis, France
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriters, musicians
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • percussion
Years active2013 (2013)–present
  • Lisa-Kaindé Diaz
  • Naomi Diaz

Ibeyi is an Afro-French Cuban[1] musical duo consisting of twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. The duo sings in English, French, Spanish and Yoruba,[2] a language spoken by their ancestors before being taken to Cuba as slaves in the 1700s. In Yoruba, Ibeyi (Ìbejì) means "twins".[3]

Their music has elements of Yoruba, French and Afro-Cuban, and fuses jazz with beats, samples with traditional instruments.,[4] Lisa, the lead singer,[5] plays the piano;[6] Naomi plays the traditional Peruvian/Cuban percussion instruments cajón and Batá drum.

Early life and career[edit]

Naomi Diaz (left) and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz (right)

The fraternal[7] twins (born 13 December 1994 in Paris) lived in Havana for the first two years of their lives, then moved to Paris, where they were educated.[8] They visited Cuba yearly on holiday, but were primarily raised in Paris, where they currently reside.[6]

Their father was the famed Cuban percussionist Anga Díaz, who has received a Grammy award for his work with the Latin jazz band Irakere, and was also a member of Buena Vista Social Club ensemble, playing with Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González and Máximo Francisco Repilado Muñoz aka Compay Segundo. On his death in 2006, Naomi, then aged 11, learned to play his signature instrument, the cajón. Together the sisters studied Yoruba folk songs.[9] Their mother is French-Venezuelan singer Maya Dagnino, who serves as their manager and encouraged Lisa-Kainde's songwriting.[10][11]

In 2013, they signed to the record label, XL Recordings.[2][12] Label owner Richard Russell is the only other contributor to their self-titled debut album, released in 2015.[6] Released when they were 20, the album pays tribute to their deceased father and the track Yanira immortalizes the duo's older sister, who died in 2013. The song ends with a synth that sounds like a life-support monitor.[6]

In 2014, they received attention for the video for their album's second single, "River". The twins appear in a closeup shot throughout, taking turns having their heads forced underwater while the other sings.[6]

In 2016, the twins appeared in the short film for Beyoncé's album Lemonade as members of Beyonce's farm utopia that offers a safe space for black women. In May 2016, Ibeyi returned to Havana for live performances at the CHANEL 2016 Cruise collection in Cuba and the international music festival MUSICABANA.[13]

Their 2017 album Ash was nominated for IMPALA's European Album of the Year Award.[14]


As well as their father Anga Díaz, the duo claims Frank Ocean, James Blake, and King Krule among their influences.[15] In live shows, they have covered rapper Jay Electronica’s Better in Tune with the Infinite and others.

Their recordings also show a strong and spiritual connection to their Yoruba roots, as do the name and themes.[citation needed] They also pay tribute to Santería, a syncretism practiced by many Afro-Cubans.[citation needed]



List of studio albums, with selected details
Title Album details Peak chart positions




Ibeyi 15 28 35 58 52 20 36 166 11 1
  • Released: September 29, 2017[27]
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • Format: CD, DL, LP
19 48 73 47


Title Details Notes
Oya EP
  • Released: August 7, 2014
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • Format: DL
3.""Oya"" (Oya Capella) 
4.""River"" (Oshun Dub) 


List of singles by main artist
Title Year Peak chart positions Album


"River" 2014 66 84 49 Ibeyi
"Stranger / Lover" 2015 15 34
"Exhibit Diaz"[28] Non-album single
"Lost in My Mind"[29] 2017
"Away Away" 174
48 Ash
(featuring Kamasi Washington)
"Me Voy"
(featuring Mala Rodriguez)


  1. ^ "Clique x Ibeyi". 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  2. ^ a b Rhick Samadder (2015-02-15). "Sister act: the twins behind Ibeyi". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
  3. ^ Wagoner, Mackenzie. "Decoding the Beauty Looks of Our Favorite Sister Bands: Haim, Tegan and Sara, and More". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  4. ^ Betty Clarke (2015-02-20). "Ibeyi review – twin-powered culture-clash charisma". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  5. ^ Hugh Montgomery (May 9, 2015). "Ibeyi: meet the soul sisters set to stun this year's festival circuit "Music has always been our way to be happy and to heal ourselves"". The Independent. United Kingdom. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Jay Balfour (2015-02-20). "Half Yoruba spiritual and half electronic R&B, Ibeyi's debut is drenched in rhythm and quirky originality". hiphopdx. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  7. ^ "We Skyped with Ibeyi, the French-Cuban Twin Sisters Turning Their Heritage into the Sound of the Future". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  8. ^ "Ibeyi – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)". kexp.org. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  9. ^ Carroll, Jim (2014-03-20). "New Music – Ibeyi, Juce, Akua". Irish Times. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  10. ^ Tim Jonze (October 30, 2014). "Meet Ibeyi: French-Cuban twins with a musical sixth sense". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  11. ^ Jim Carroll (February 15, 2015). "Ibeyi: the French Cuban teenagers about to take the music world by storm". Irish Times. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  12. ^ "Les morceaux de la semaine de JD Beauvallet". Les Inrocks. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  13. ^ "MUSICABANA - CUBA". Musicabana.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  14. ^ "22 acts in the running for best European independent album". IMPALA. 6 March 2018. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  15. ^ "About". Ibeyi. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  16. ^ a b "Ibeyi discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Ibeyi discography". ultrato.be/nl/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Ibeyi discography". ultrato.be/fr/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  19. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Ibeyi / Longplay". musicline.de (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  20. ^ "Ibeyi discography". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Ibeyi discography". hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Ibeyi | Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  23. ^ "Ibeyi - Chart History | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  24. ^ "Ibeyi - Chart History | Billboard Alternative Albums". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  25. ^ "Ibeyi - Chart History | Billboard Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  26. ^ "Ibeyi by Ibeyi on Apple Music". iTunes. February 17, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  27. ^ "Ash by Ibeyi on Apple Music". iTunes. September 29, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  28. ^ "Exhibit Diaz - Single by Ibeyi on Apple Music". iTunes. July 28, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  29. ^ "Lost in My Mind - Single by Ibeyi on Apple Music". iTunes. February 10, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.

External links[edit]